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Decline Of Hindu Population In Bangladesh - A Discussion

By Author: Swapnil Bala
Total Articles: 4

When India and Pakistan – the two dominions were born in the August 1947, the social, cultural and religious demography changed drastically in either side of the borders. So far as the numbers of Hindus are concerned, from a modest 25 percent in 1947, it slipped to a pathetic 18.5 percent in 1961. The reason behind this slip is quite clear. Prior to the partition, most of the landowners, who were upper class Hindu Bengalis could not move over to West Bengal over night, and hence later was treated inhumanly by the Pakistani Government. This had lead to conversion of some of them from Hindus to Muslims and the rest moved over to India subsequently.

Again, in the war of Independence in 1971, over 10 million refugees moved over to India, which further contributed to this decrease in numbers. After the War of Independence was over and finally, the remaining Hindu families settled in Bangladesh the true picture of their locus standi emerged. Initially, they had thought that their days of woes were over, but that was not to be. Though Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman drew a rosy picture of a secular Bangladesh, after his assassination in 15th August, 1975 the situation changed. Military coup followed and the situation for the Hindus slipped back to the grimmer side, and the ordeal continues till date in spite of the establishment of democracy in the early 1990s. Even the articles and reports published in the bangladeshi bangla newspaper and magazines reflect this.

In fact, over the past 10 years, vis-à-vis the overall growth of the Bangladeshi population, there has been an alarming decrease in the Hindu population and this decrease can be attributed to not so healthy and conducive atmosphere of existence, so far as Hindu population in Bangladesh is concerned.

If we go by the statistics that is available from the government resources, if we consider the proportionate decrease of Hindu population against the total population of Bangladesh at the moment, it is around 900 thousand. Thus, as per the data available, the elimination of Hindus from the 15 districts of Bangladesh is almost total. A respectable number of Hindu family is Bangladesh were either forced to live the country, or those who could not be unsettled had to face inhuman treatment and the local authorities as well as the government turned blind eye to them, irrespective of the party that was in the power – either BNP, or Awami League.

In the 2001, there were 16.83 millionHindu population in Bangladesh against an overall population of 18.2 million. However, the records show that the total number of Hindus in Bangladesh stood at 12.3 million – or 900,000 less than what was expected to be the growth rate. Currently 8.5 % of the total Bangladeshi population is Hindus, while in 2001, the number was 9.2 percent. The statics are available from the latest bangla news online portals and other sources.

Rise of Islamist radical, coupled by the forceful occupation of Hindu properties has forced thousands of hundreds of Hindu families to migrate over to India. This migration has received a shot in the arm by the forceful conversion of the Hindus into Muslims by the Islamic Missionaries. At present, there are over 300 Islamist charitable organizations, which are actively vehemently patronizing as well as funding the operations to covert Hindus into Muslims.

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